If you’re wondering about how to prepare for the PTE and are new to the exam, the initial preparatory days can seem overwhelming. Well, do not worry, we have got you covered, here is our five-step guide that will help you plan how to prepare, how much to prepare, and what to prepare for.
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Must Read: PTE Exam: Everything You Need To Know
5-Step Guide to Ace Your PTE While Preparing from Home
Here are the 5 crucial steps with the help of which you can prepare for your PTE exam from the comfort of your home and attain the best scores in your PTE exam.
Know Your PTE Score and Target
To get started, you should understand your current level of English proficiency, and the PTE score you need to achieve. You can practise for the PTE Academic test by using the Online Practice Tests online, which will help you get an idea of what score you need to achieve on the actual PTE exam. Additionally, it shows you your scores for communication skills, i.e., listening, reading, speaking, and writing, so you can assess where you need to improve your skills to achieve your target score.
Understanding the PTE Test Format
Take sufficient time to familiarise yourself with the structure of the PTE Academic test. Understanding the format of the test and the types of questions you should expect is crucial to get a better result. Don’t forget to ask yourself the following questions as you familiarise yourself with the test:
- Understand how many parts and how many questions are included in each part of the test.
- Read the instructions properly. How much time do you need to complete the entire exam for each question type? How are responses recorded?
- What tasks need to be completed first? What and how skills are assessed? How are responses scored?
- Keep track of the length and timing of the examination. How long does each part of the PTE Academic test last? How much time is consumed for each question type?
Understanding the Marking Scheme
All the questions in the PTE Academic are 100% machine-calculated, which means that every test is marked accurately, consistently, and fairly without any discrepancy. The score band of PTE is between 10 and 90, which shows your level of English skills. Scores for questions are based on:
Correctness refers to how accurately you are responding to the questions asked in the PTE test.
- Formal aspects:
Formal aspects refer to the form of your response, for instance, whether your response is significantly over or under the word limit for a particular item type.
- The quality of the response:
The quality of your response includes your abilities in areas like oral fluency skill, pronunciation, and comprehension. It is called the set of abilities in your ‘Skills Profile’.
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Questions will be asked in the test to check your communicative skills i.e., speaking, writing, reading, and listening and it will be tested either individually or as a combination of skills. Each question asked contributes to the score for that particular communicative skill.
These are given in more detail in the Score Report. The scores are first compiled in the Score Report along with the Skills Profile, which will be shared with you after completing the exam. The Score Report contains the following sections:
- Overall score
It is your main PTE Academic score, graded between 10 and 90.
- Communicative skills
It is the score you achieved for your proficiency in each of the skills for speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Each skill is graded between 10 and 90.
Along with your Score Report, you will receive a Skills Profile, which shows how you performed across each category and it has a progress bar to show how well you did.
- Short writing
This section analyses how the student can concise their thought precisely without missing out on crucial information.
- Multiple-skills comprehension
This is analysed through multiple integrated tasks in the examination section. The various skills that are portrayed in the examination sections are evaluated in this section.
- Open response speaking and writing
Each category offers personalised recommendations to help guide you on how to further improve your English language skills, and help you identify where to focus if you need to work on improving your score.
Explore PTE Preparation Resources
We recommend exploring the range of free and paid PTE Academic preparation materials made available by Pearson at the official website of PTE. The PTE offers paid digital preparation resources in bundles to suit different types of learners and your needs, offering both choices and savings on individual items. Pearson offers in-depth expert guidance in support of your test and how to maximise your score. The official materials help in
- Reviewing your test performance
- Understanding the core English skills
- Lets you know how to improve your English speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills
You can also consider a PTE or English language course. If you’re looking for more interactive and inclusive preparation resources for first-hand preparation experience, you can consider the range of free online PTE courses available at the official website of the PTE. The page also features details on providers of other hundreds of course providers, who offer both online and in-person courses to boost your knowledge of PTE Academic.
Keep in mind the key to success is practice. Don’t waste those extra minutes, make the most of those spare minutes to practise your skills:
- Daily practise 5-10 minutes of activities which include the skills each day to maintain and build knowledge.
- Practice speaking in English in front of the mirror, and communicate with people whenever possible in English.
- Find and join English-speaking groups. It offers the opportunity to practise both speaking and listening skills.
- Practice writing in English judiciously. For example, maintain a journal in English.
- Read widely from sources like newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and books of your choice.
- Listening to English-speaking media, like television (use English subtitles, if available) and radio broadcasts, will also improve your listening skills.
- Observe the native speakers and listen to the language used in different contexts and accents.
Bonus Tips for PTE Exam Day
The most important thing is to stay calm and composed. Make those extra minutes preparing your skills for the PTE Exam day.
- Before the Test
- Make sure to carry the correct documentation and Identity card to the test centre on the day of the PTE examination. Without proper and correct documentation and ID, you won’t be allowed to appear on the PTE exam.
- Reach the examination centre on or before the reporting time. Keep plenty of time in hand in case of an emergency.
- During the Test
- Read all PTE test instructions carefully before beginning with the test.
- Try and use correct punctuation for writing tasks: full stops, capital letters, commas, etc.
- Answer the question appropriately. For example, if the question asks you to write or speak about music, write or speak about ‘music’, not ‘maths’.
- Strictly stick to the word limit you are given for writing tasks.
- Respond as quickly as possible and keep speaking during the speaking tasks. The microphone will close automatically after three seconds of silence and will stop recording.
- Try to not spend too much time on a single question. Keep a track of the time.
- Spend any remaining time available to cross-check your answers.
With PTE Academic Online, you can take your test anywhere, at home, in an office, or wherever you have a quiet, private space. PTE Academic Online uses the same test content, scoring and format as PTE Academic in a test centre.
The average time needed to prepare for the PTE exam at home is between 4 and 6 weeks.
Among the three, the PTE Reading is considered the most complicated part of the PTE exam. A large number of applicants miss most of their points in their reading proficiency.